Summer's here, the sun is shining and the poppies are in bloom. You know what that means? All the Taliban fighters who had been hibernating in Afghanistan's impenetrable mountains have emerged from their slumbers and are creeping down the mountains to visit violence on U.S. and NATO forces.
In the south, British troops swoop down in Chinook helicopters to engage the Taliban in fierce firefights while Dutch and Australian forces rebuild crumbling infrastructure in order to jumpstart the region's shattered economy and dry up the opium trade that channels cash and arms to extremist fighters. Across the country, U.S. and allied troops balance combat, reconstruction and the tough job of training up Afghan soldiers, cops and administrators -- all on unforgiving terrain and in a media environment that seems at times to favor bad news coming out of Iraq over any news from Afghanistan.
For the next three weeks I'll be reporting from Kabul and Kandahar, doing my part to ensure that our "other" war gets a little more attention. Ares and Danger Room are co-sponsoring my blog series focused on the vital Provincial Reconstruction Teams that are dodging bombs and bullets to lay the foundation for a self-sufficient Afghanistan. So check both sites regularly throughout the month of June. And wish me luck.